Below are some of the more frequently asked questions from our chapters regarding the SCORE Finance Centralization process.
How do we maintain relationships with community banks if our funds are no longer there?
The local banks always appreciate that SCORE provides services to local business that might want loans or to bank with them. Additionally, local banks can still refer non-performing loan clients to SCORE or currently unqualified loan candidates to SCORE for mentoring.
How will account reconciliations be done?
They will be done on a national level. All chapter accounts get swept into a master account.
What is the process for opening a BoA account and how many accounts can we have? What if we already have a BoA account?
SCORE HQ will open all accounts with BoA in the new system. Those chapters with an existing BOA account will be easier to port over into the new system than those with accounts at other institutions.Each chapter has one BoA account.
The nearest Bank of America branch is over 30 miles away. How will we make deposits, make payments?
There are several options available for chapters:1) Chapters with local BoA branches within the area can either use the deposit only ATM cards or make deposits at the teller window,2) all chapters may use the provided deposit slips and pre addressed envelopes to mail deposits to the BoA depository location,3) Chapters may also choose to use the remote deposit smart phone app, 4) any chapter may also mail their deposit to headquarters for HQ staff to make the deposit for them.Chapters will not be making payments from their bank account but sending payment requests to Headquarters to pay directly.
Will we still receive interest on our bank account balance?
No,the chapters will not receive interest income on the BoA bank balance.
How do we establish a connection when questions arise such as lost checks or misplaced deposits, etc.?
Checks will be mailed directly to the vendor or volunteer. If a check is lost, then the payee should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a replacement check. If a chapter notices that a deposit has not been posted by the deadline, then the chapter can contact headquarters as well to confirm if it was received.
Will the Chapter still have “signers” on the account? If yes, how will that happen every year if there is no local branch?
There will be no local “signers” on the account.
Will our Chapter have its own account with Bank of America?
Each chapter’s funds will be deposited within a sub account with BoA, then these accounts are swept into a Master account. Chapters will not have direct access to the account information from BoA.
Funds will be tracked in detail through Intacct, the cloud-based accounting system which chapters may review. Chapters will have a reporting dashboard in Intacct that provides the running Chapter Cash Balance.
Will we have a debit card or have some other means to access cash?
No, one of the underling ways to reduce risk to the organization is to have tight internal controls on any access directly to cash.
How do we pay for small expenses or make payment to vendors who require an immediate payment?
Chapters Will either need to set up terms for payments with vendors or pre-bill so that advance payments can be made. Vendors are more willing to do this than you might expect. If a Volunteer makes payment, that Volunteer would then submit a Form 14 to the chapter and sent into be reimbursed by SCORE HQ.Volunteers may choose to be reimbursed faster by signing up for the ACH direct deposit feature through Bill.com.
How will the bill approval process work and how will we know if it has been approved?
This will be handled in a similar way that the chapters are currently doing it except of sending in Form 14s, chapters will send in bills to be paid directly by HQ. Chapters may review all bill activity in Intacct which updates continuously.
How do we set up billpay? Can it handle automatic monthly payments?
Chapters will not be accessing Bill.com. They will submit bills & Form 14s just like they currently do. Monthly recurring payments may be set up for leases and utilities if the amount is the same each month of the chapter chooses. Regular monthly bills can be changed to mail directly to HQ IF the chapter name and number is prominent on the bill itself.
How will chapters use the Form 14s under the new system?
Volunteer expense reimbursements will remain on Form 14's. Chapters will email, fax, or mail in copies of approved bills with no Form 14 attached, we will scan those into Bill.comand process them for payment. If the treasurer designates specific coding for the bills, then we will try to honor that.
How will Panther bills be handled under the new system?
We will try to have Panther bills submitted directly to Bill.com. All the chapter must do is approve the timesheet and that will qualify as approval for payment.
What changes will there be for how funds are “managed” within the chapter?
None -Chapter funds usage is determined at Chapter level. Unless the chapter instructs otherwise, any bill that meets federal grant guidelines and qualifies to be paid out of the National Allocation Will be charged first against the allocation until it is depleted.Once the allocation is fully used, then the bills will be charged against local funds.The chapter may request specifically that a bill be paid from a field grantor local funds.
SCORE is about Local services and Local community impact. How do we reassure donor’s that our Chapter’s donations will be used locally as determined by our Chapter?
Same way most Chapters do it today. By the work we do and by keeping donors aware of our results.
We raise significant donations that are used for some items that we would not be allowed to pay from the money allocated from National, such as fundraising expenses or grants to clients. If National determines that a submitted invoice does not meet the mission of SCORE, what recourse do we have?
The bill will be paid out of the chapter’s local funds if it does not meet the federal grant guidelines or if the National Allocation has already been used. Donations to the chapter are added to the Chapter Cash Balance.
How, if we are asked during fund raising, will we answer the question about whether or not the money stays local or benefits us locally?
SCORE recognizes funds raised locally as part of the chapter activity. The use of these funds rests entirely with the chapter, each chapter has its own financial statement and can track sources and uses of funds at its chapter and for any special event.
How do our vendors get paid when the federal government is shut down? What about during temporary staff vacancies at National?
Payments are processed to volunteers and vendors during a government shutdown.
SCORE has added staff and cross-trained existing staff to prevent backlogs from occurring. Through the use of outside resources; e.g. Bill.com, the vacancy part should not be an issue. Other efficiencies inherent to the centralization will also improve the response in Accounts Payable.
How long will the process take for the transitionto the new system? How soon in advance will the treasurer be notified?
We are going to try to give at a minimum 1.5 months’ notice. Chapters can get a head start by completing Phase I Chapter Checklist.
Should I open a BoA account now if we do not already have one, or should we wait for instructions from HQ?
No need to do that now. HQ will do it when making the conversion.
How do we "sell" to a bunch of volunteers (Not Employees) that this effort will benefit our chapter & themselves? (Important -what has been provided so far benefits National -we need to be able to talk about how it will benefit us).
This is not about national or chapters, it is about clients. One of the inherent ideas is to make it easier for a person to volunteer. By eliminating the bookkeeper duties of a chapter treasurer, it will be easier for a chapter to fill that position and will allow the treasurer to spend more time doing what they volunteered to do, mentor clients.
The Score INTACCT manuals and instructional materials are 5 years old and not likely to be up to date regarding required browsers and INTACCT procedures. INTACCT is not as user friendly as QuickBooks Online. How will training happen?
The Chapter will not be using Intacct in the way chapters have previously been using it. Chapters will NOT be entering invoices, writing check reconciling bank balances or creating financial reports. Chapter Intacct users will have the ability to review and report the financial activity of the chapter. New documentation is currently being produced that will replace any old Intacct instructions.
Intacct Training documents are being written, reviewed, and tested before they are released. There will also be new training videos posted online.
Chapters will be guided through how to use Intacct during the transition and headquarter staff will be available to assist the treasurer with any questions or problems after the transition is complete.
Will we be able to use INTACCT to track donations in order to prepare the report required for the Form 3? Is the Form 3 going away?
The Form 3 in its current form will no longer need to be prepared. The Donation receipts can be booked in Intacct in detail. We expect chapters to issue donation acknowledgements and keep records for reporting any donations in detail $5,000 and over.
Can we use sub accounts within the INTACCT chart of accounts established by SCORE national?
The 5 year old INTACCT manual says we cannot, but we have found them very useful for separating income and expenses by program especially regarding budgeting. Intacct has the ability to designate Activity Codes to track programs if the new system isn’t adequate. Headquarters will work with each chapter to find a way meet the chapter’s existing reporting standards.
Our Chapter has created reports that are easy to read and simple to display for our membership in addition to the actual financial reports. Will we still be able to easily create reports and charts?Any financial report may be downloaded to Excelso that additional information or charts can be added to the final document. We will try to work with chapters that currently have special reports that will be needed in the new system.
ROLE OF THE TREASURER AND ADMINISTRATOR
Has a new role description been created for the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer?
The treasurer has a strategic role of financial management versus operating a bookkeeping function. Apart from the bookkeeping functions, the responsibilities are the same.
Will the chapter Treasurer be responsible for bank reconciliations?
No, the bank is reconciled in total at HQ. We encourage all treasurers to review their chapter’s financial information closely during the month and aftereach month is closed instead. We have an administrator who is paid.
Will we be able to give her confidence of keeping her job or to be able to honor the contract?
While there will be no data entry into a spreadsheet or into an accounting system, bills will still need to be reviewed, approved, and sent in for payment. Deposits need to be made and documentation sent to headquarters. It is the responsibility of the chapter to determine if other duties can be transferred from a volunteer to an administrator.
How will onboarding of new Treasurers be accomplished?
Chapter recruits. Training and onboarding process will be consistent and based on the HQ training being developed. All Chapters will have the same process once the rollout is completed.
What national accounts will be available to use going forward (Staples, HiPer, Office Depot, others)?
We currently have accounts with Panther, PF Chang’s, Panera Bread, and Hi-Per (social media vendor) while Office Depot will fully launch mid-March.We will work to set up others as we identify them.Please check in The Volunteer Center under Accounting Centralization for updates.For additional information, contact Rachel Boggs at Rachel.email@example.com.
How will we use our PayPal accounts under the new system?
SCORE Headquarters has opened a national PayPal account that the chapters will use after their transition to the centralized system. Once a chapter begins transition, the chapter will be given the new PayPal email to link to all new workshop registration in Constant Contact the National PayPal account. (There are specific instructions about naming the event in Constant Contact Under the new system).The chapter will also be given a user sign in into the PayPal account. The chapter may issue refunds from the National PayPal account for their chapter. The chapter will need to report to HQ all activity on the old PayPal at each month end until closed. If the chapter PayPal can be pointed to the new BoA account, then that would expedite the transition process. Once all workshops under the old PayPal are completed and the final funds are transferred, the old PayPal account be closed.
How are PayPal or other services being handled? How difficult will this make it for workshop attendees to “pay” for a workshop?
From the client perspective, there should be no change. The clients signup and pays the Workshop fee through Constant Contact. Refunds will be issued through PayPal as usual